Dec 062012

after months of waiting, my pre-production ES-2 Espresso Machine has arrived from Espresso Strietman in Holland.

Wouter Strietman has made a pre-production run of 20 machines and I was lucky enough to secure one of them, drawing inspiration from machines like the Arrarex Caravel from the 1960’s and incorporating modern electronic temperature control they are an amazing design.

The courier waved me down in Woolies car park this morning to tell me she had a box for me,

I whisked it home and unpacked the very well padded parcel to reveal the component parts of the ES-2, I have put it together with the drip tray holder inverted which allows it to sit upright on the table for pictures, the intent is to wall monut the machine.

as you can see, there is not actually much to it and assembly took a matter of minutes with no instructions required! everything is well built and very solid feeling, i love the industrial finish – its not a polished and glossy finish like my big Izzo lever but it really suits this machine I think.

you can see the nice detail on the control unit here, and finally the assembled machine. it will be a few days before I have it up and running as I dont have time to work out the mounting system and set it up but I am hugely excited to see just how good the extractions are from this timeless design of coffee porn! Wouter also kindly included a couple of nice porcelain cups bearing his name as well as 3 different portafilters to try.

in my excitement this morning I did forget to mention the relationship with Wouter through this process, he has been fantastic, communicating at every step of this unique process, adaptive to issues as they came up (he couldnt use wood handles and send it to australia easily), he has sent photos through as work progressed and generally been a pleasure to deal with. i am sure I will have even more positive feedback once i get to the point of pulling shots on this beauty!

Nov 232012

sorry for my lengthy absence from the pages of nhawi, my primary excuse is that I have been struck down with the scrouge of Ross River Virus.

to save you having to listen to a litany of whinging about aching joints and lethagy, i suggest those ignorant of, or with a morbid curiosity for, the details of RRV, do a google search and enlighten themselves.

i have been crook with it for about 2 months and can expect at least another month of feeling like an 85yo man, an insight I could easily have lived without.

anyway with no further ado i present you with proof that i am not completely overcome, a small video of a shot pulled on my Arrarex Caravel manual lever coffee machine with a new ‘naked’ or bottomless portafilter – which will mean absolutely nothing to all but the few coffee obsessed readers of my little blog. again readers, google is your friend.

and with that i shall return to the cricket and watch the skippies flog the saffies.

….back from the cricket, my friend Koffee Kosmo has requested a view of the extraction looking up into the portafilter so here is ‘nekkid2’

Jun 232012

i have become a little obsessed with vintage lever coffee machines, in particular the Arrarex Caravel – which is not the machine above! The Arrarex Caravel is a piece of inspired late ’50’s Italian design, beautiful, simple and incredibly effecient and reliable. There were thousands of them sold into Italian homes in the ’60’s and 70’s and in testament to their design, a surprising number still exist in pristine, working condition. In my search for one to buy, I was offered the little beauty above- a late ’50’s Baby Faemina. As you can see the condition is as new and the design is also beautiful and simple.

below is the Arrarex Caravel I eventually managed to purchase, its a very early one, in great condition and it should still make great coffee. I look forward to its arrival and the chance to put some coffee though it.

last night i lashed out and paid top price for another interesting machine, many australians will be familiar with the atomic stovetop coffee maker, thousands were sold in australia in the 60’s and they remain a popular item today, they are still being made by an australian company today so you can still buy a brand new one. Old ones in good condition from the sydney importer, Bon Trading, Woollahra fetch a premium on fleabay, more collectible are the early Italian labelled ones and particularly rare is the La Sorrentina version with green bakelite handles and knobs.

somehow and somewhere along the line i seem to have become a collector!

more coffee chat and stuff online at australia’s best coffee forum –

Apr 072012

i made this little video for the home barista website – a site that caters to coffee obsessed tragics like myself! I created it for a thread that showcases peoples routine with extracting a coffee from their lever coffee machines. warning – its probably totally boring to the majority of readers, only those infused with the passion of coffee will understand!